Property market to go global

The number of major global investors in the GCC property market is expected to more than double this year, according to research by Jones Lang LaSalle, a property consultancy.

Until this year, few of the “global 100” property investors had ventured into the Gulf, despite a decade of strong growth in several countries.

The arrival of the biggest names in the business – such as American International Group (AIG), the American insurance group, and Singapore,s Capita Land, which signed a joint venture deal with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala ­Development Company last year – is a sign that global investors are gaining confidence in the legal and regulatory framework in the region.

But the newcomers will still be dwarfed by existing investors – mostly from the Middle East and other nearby countries such as Pakistan and India – so their arrival will have a limited impact on prices.

In Dubai, for example, investors have enthusiastically greeted the creation of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, which weeded out many sub-standard developers.

The international investors are expected to come from a range of sectors, including banking, insurance and real estate development, and from all major economic zones including America, South Korea, Singapore and ­Europe.